Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Winning Raffle Ticket Is ...

The winning ticket for the raffle held at the Stapleford Light switch-on event (Sat 21st Nov)  is number


If that's your ticket, please come along to Dig In between 10am & midday to collect your prize on either Weds 16th or Sat 19th December.  You'll need to bring your winning ticket with you.  If you need to make contact, please email by Sat 19th Dec.

Please note that DigIn will not be open on Saturday 12th December.  DigIn will also be closed on the following dates over Christmas / New Year:

Closed on :- Weds 23rd Dec, Sat 26th Dec, Weds 30th Dec
The first session of the new year will be Sat 2nd Jan 2016.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Coming up ... Willowcraft Workshop

DigIn is hosting a Willowcraft Workshop on Saturday 5th December, 11am - 2pm.
Come along and make a Christmas wreath or lantern out of willow.
No experience necessary.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
A £3 donation towards materials is welcome.
Booking essential as places are limited.  To book, email
Dress for the weather - we'll be dry in the polytunnel, but we rely on the sun for heating!
Hope to see you there...

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Harvest Event 2015

Here are a few pics from this year's Harvest Event.
Many thanks to all the people who came to this event even though it was raining for much of the day.  DigIn really appreciates your support.
Thanks to Asda for supporting us, especially Jon on the day.
Thanks too to the volunteers who contributed so much to make the whole day possible - we couldn't do it without you.

The comments we had from our visitors on the day were very encouraging - it sounds like you all enjoyed it!

It's the way I tell 'em!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Work Party "Intu" Dig In!

We had a phenomenal team from Intu at Dig In today.  About 30 took part and really threw themselves into the tasks we had planned for them.  Thanks to Alan from RCAN for arranging it for us.  We have many tasks that never seem to get done as we are so busy with plants (and weeds) in the growing season.  The task list seems to get longer each year (which is why we can always do with an extra pair of hands - you don't have to be a gardener, just able to do a bit of DIY!).  The Intu team made new raised beds, dug out an area next to the Polytunnel to flatten it out and then laid weed suppressant fabric & woodchip on top - looks really smart now!

Many of the paths were weeded & topped up with woodchip, a new sail shade put up - it's waterproof too, might come in handy tomorrow at the Harvest Event!

The tyre wall was removed, weeded, then put back in place with rubble & gravel inside and looks so much better!

Some of the sheds and the gazebo have had a new coat of preservative and lots of other jobs were tackled.

One of the team left us with a pumpkin carved with the Intu logo which looks very smart.
Massive thanks to all of the Intu team, Alan, and not forgetting Jill, Dig In volunteer /PulpFriction who made soup and bread for the day and the other DigIn volunteers who pitched in to help.

Alan tidying up after the work party

Thursday, 22 October 2015

HARVEST DAY - Coming to an allotment near you!

Yes, this Saturday 24th October 11am-3pm its the Dig In annual Harvest Event!  Don't worry about what the weather's doing, there'll be plenty going on at Dig In and we have the polytunnel and various gazebos/tents to shelter under if its slightly damp.  Us Hardy Perennials at Dig In will be there regardless of the weather.  Pumpkin soup and freshly pressed apple juice will be just two of the tempting things on offer, plus, of course, pumpkin carving and lots more besides!

Come along and support your local Community Allotment.
Hope to see you there...

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

More Pumpkin Progress

The time has come to harvest the pumpkins before the frost gets them.  Today, we released Big Max from its plant along with other almost as large pumpkins.  Here are some pics.  They were so heavy it took two of us to lift them into the wheelbarrow!
They should be on display at our Harvest Event on Saturday 24th Oct, 11 - 3pm.  Come along and see them for yourself.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Pumpkin's Progress

Here's a pic of Big Max, the pumpkin.  It seems to have grown since last week.  We've rested it on top of the raised bed now as I thought the stem might snap under its ever increasing weight.

And here's a pic of a favourite of mine, Borage ...  Not just me that loves it, the bees do too.

I saw the young newt again in the pond, in the same place, sunbathing in the shallows.  But a real surprise was to see a rabbit in our "wild" area.  I've never seen a rabbit before at the allotment.  Wonder if we've any carrots left?!

And finally, I started to tidy up the herb bed which has grown very well this year.  Time to cut back the lavender so it doesn't get too woody.  Can you smell it?  A very pleasurable job.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Sunny Sunday

Such a warm and sunny Sunday after a rather windy & chilly Stapleford Carnival the day before.

Here are some pics from the allotment to show how lovely its looking at the moment.  If you haven't visited the allotment before, or for a while, and would like to come and join in with our informal gardening sessions please come along any Wednesday or Saturday morning between 10 & 12.  Just ring the doorbell on the side gate, someone will let you in.

Don't forget this year's Harvest Day event at Dig In
Saturday 24th October, 11-3pm

Ripening grapes - not ready yet

Pumpkin's filling out, hopefully ready
for Harvest Day at DigIn, 24th October

Baby newt, sunbathing

The orchard

Teasel next to the Bug Hotel - Bed & Breakfast for the bees :o)

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Here's a pic of what I think is a Lime Hawk Moth caterpillar.  It was quite a chunky thing clinging on to one of our raised beds at today's volunteer session.
I think it must be trying to find a place to pupate.  If it is a lime hawk moth, it will dig itself under the soil to pupate and will remain in this state over winter.  It will emerge from pupation next May, so we need to take care when using Raised Bed B!
The adult moth is very striking having green and pink markings on its wings and has a wingspan between 70 - 80 mm, so quite a large one!

And here's one of a very busy bumble bee, buzzing the pollen loose from the poppy.  If it was the same bee, it made many (noisy!) trips to this one flower.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Volunteer Treat

The hard working volunteers were today treated to a Cook and Eat, skilfully prepared by Jill D and Mary.
We had a spicy vegetable stew, with ingredients being freshly picked from the allotment - carrots, runner beans, onions, garlic, courgette to name but a few, together with a fresh salad from lettuce and cucumbers grown in the polytunnel.  For dessert, blueberries were freshly picked from the plants outside, plus some more pastry treats from Dan (thankyou!).
It all went down very well and we had a good number of volunteers to polish the lot off.  Karen thanked the volunteers for their dedication this growing season and I'd like to take this opportunity on behalf of the vols to thank Karen for all of her help too and for putting up with us!
Many thanks to Jill and Mary for preparing such a tasty feast, it was enjoyed by all.

One of these cucumbers sacrificed for lunch ...

Dan with a duck-shaped patty pan squash - quackers!

Saturday, 22 August 2015


It was the Stapleford & District Garden Holders Association (SDGHA) show today.  DigIn entered some produce into some of the show categories, namely longest Runner Bean, Most Unusual Shaped vegetable, Grapes, Runner Beans and Vegetable Marrow.

The most unusual shaped vegetable entered was a potato dug by Emma and Izzy which looked a bit like a seal.  The long runner bean was over 39cm when measured on the Weds before (forgot to measure it on the day!), the vegetable marrow was a yellow one that was spotted on the morning of the show, along with a selection of runner beans and bunch of grapes.

Once all  the entries had been displayed in the hall, the door was locked for the judging to take place.  After what seemed like an age, the doors were opened again and all could enter the hall to see the results of judging.
We were absolutely thrilled to find that DigIn had been placed 1st for Grapes, 1st for Vegetable Marrow and 1st for Most Unusual shaped vegetable.  Not bad going!

Here are some pics of the entries.


Seal spud
Longest Runner, DigIns is bottom row, 2nd from right
Runner Beans


Well done and thank you to all volunteers who have helped to grow award winning fruit and veg on the DigIn Community Allotment.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Sunny Wednesday

A lovely sunny Wednesday session today, had a hint of autumn to the air.  The early(ish) sun inspired a couple of pictures of the pond and surrounding area.  Twelve volunteers enjoyed a good morning gardening and sharing in the produce.  Thanks to Dan for spoiling us all with some Italian pastry treats at tea break.


I loved the way the sun shone through the Mirabelle tree ...


The little critter below is, we think, some sort of shield bug with very long antennae.

Shield bug

Monday, 17 August 2015


Here are a few pics taken in the polytunnel on Sunday.  It was a quiet day at the allotment for a change but still lots of jobs were done.  The plants are looking really good in there at the moment, and its the first time we've grown aubergines with this degree of success.  The fruits actually look like aubergines!




Tomatoes ...

... just starting to ripen ...

.. hurry up, or its green tomato chutney!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Archive beeshed photos

Here are a couple of pics from the archives of the bee area at DigIn.
It was a very muddy area, not good for growing anything, so ideal for bees!

Transformed into a bee area, complete with the two colonies of bees.  Hard to believe a muddy swamp could turn into such a brilliant place.  All thanks to the hard work of DigIn volunteers of course!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Flower of the Day

We have lots and lots of nasturtiums at DigIn at the moment.  They're covered in bumblebees and planted close to the runner beans so that the bees will pollinate those for us as well.  They're also providing a good meal for the caterpillars.  Hopefully they'll fill up on the nasturtiums and leave our cabbages alone!

Holly Blue ?

This blue butterfly was a constant companion while we set seeds in the raised beds yesterday.  It was tricky to get a good pic, but I think its a Holly Blue.